Sunday, May 31, 2009

Smoked duck and peach salad with basil dressing

Serves 4

For sure it's way too warm today, and it's Sunday after all, to be doing anything in the kitchen apart from assembling. I can't speak for anyone else, but the peaches I've been getting the past week or two are good enough to kill for, and the novelty hasn't yet worn thin (peach eating rather than murder plotting that is)
You really should use ripe fruit for this salad, but if you only have rock-hard peaches in your fruit bowl, and it isn't too labour intensive and hot to fire up the hob, brush the peach slices with a little butter and griddle or pan-fry for a few minutes until tender and golden brown at the edges.
Crusty just baked bread with some chilled butter is all you need bother with on the side, a few select cheeses to finish off and I think you have a winning combo with minimum stress.

300g smoked duck breast
4 ripe peaches
1 head of crest or oak leaf lettuce, washed and torn
Handful of basil leaves, torn
1 tsp runny honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4-5 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thinly slice the duck breast and set aside. Remove the stones from the peaches and cut into eighths. On a large serving plate or salad bowl, arrange the duck and peach slices on a bed of lettuce leaves, and then scatter over the basil.

Stir together the remaining ingredients for the dressing and season to taste. Spoon over the salad just as you are ready to eat.